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Derek Bailey & Jamie Muir: Dart Drug

Read "Dart Drug" reviewed by Chris May

For decades as rare as hens's teeth--or should that be larks's tongues in aspic?--Dart Drug was originally released on the Incus label in 1981, and reissued on CD in 1994. In 2018 it has been remastered and rereleased on vinyl by Honest Jons.

The bracing yet strangely beautiful album is one of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gwigwi Mrwebi: Mbaqanga Songs

Read "Mbaqanga Songs" reviewed by Chris May

Recorded in 1967, during the bloody heyday of apartheid South Africa, the joyful, defiant, easy-swinging jazz-jive heard on Mbaqanga Songs was then the recreational soundtrack of the country's black and coloured urban poor. After almost forty years off the shelves--and with impeccable synchronicity--the album was reissued late last month, just days before the death of P.W. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: London Is The Place For Me 4: African Dreams & The Piccadilly High Life

Read "London Is The Place For Me 4: African Dreams & The Piccadilly High Life" reviewed by Chris May

Honest Jons' exemplary archival collection of London-recorded Caribbean and African music from the '50s and '60s continues with this fourth, irresistible volume. After the third album's single-artist focus on the seminal Nigerian-expat bandleader Ambrose Adekoya Campbell, the series returns, for the moment anyway, to the broader spectrum of the first two volumes--taking in Trinidadian calypso, South ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tony Allen: Lagos No Shaking

Read "Lagos No Shaking" reviewed by Chris May

More than any other member of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's early bands, drummer Tony Allen can be said to have co-invented Afrobeat. Kuti provided the funk/jazz/Yoruba folk music themes and arrangements--plus the trademark insurrectionary lyrics and, crucially in the face of vicious and ongoing state attempts to silence the band, the leadership. (The buck sure enough stopped ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ambrose Adekoya Campbell: London Is The Place For Me 3

Read "London Is The Place For Me 3" reviewed by Chris May

History, they say, is written by the victors. Without a doubt, it's written by the governing majority, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the near invisibility, until very recently, of black and African people in chronicles of British life and culture.

Honest Jons provides a vibrant antidote to this Eurocentric bias with ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Moondog: The Viking Of Sixth Avenue

Read "The Viking Of Sixth Avenue" reviewed by Chris May

While many modern music fans have heard of Moondog--his counterculture reputation and musical achievements have been celebrated by hipster and conservatoire musicians alike for over fifty years--relatively few have actually heard his music. Acquainted with and endorsed by Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Igor Stravinsky, and Artur Rodzinski in New York in the late '40s and '50s, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: Lagos Chop Up

Read "Lagos Chop Up" reviewed by Chris May

An inspired trawl through the treasure trove that is urban Nigerian social music of the late '60s through mid '80s--a laid-back, all-night, intertribal dance party featuring classic highlife, Afrobeat, juju, and fuji hits of the era in all their four-track, one-take, original glory.

The '70s, give or take, were arguably the Golden Age of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Candi Staton: Candi Staton

Read "Candi Staton" reviewed by Chris May

These are some of the finest soul recordings ever made, by an artist who stands head high with the great Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding. If you love jazz, chances are you'll love this too.

Recorded from '69 to '73 for FAME Records in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, these are tough, funky, dirty, raw, proud, ...

Cedric Im Brooks & The Light Of Saba: Cedric Im Brooks & The Light Of Saba

Read "Cedric Im Brooks & The Light Of Saba" reviewed by Chris May

Another treasure trove of near-lost, jazz-infused, Caribbean-based masterpieces from the label which is bringing us the London Is The Place For Me series. This time the focus is Jamaica during the '70s and the sublime blackism melange that was Cedric Im Brooks' Light Of Saba band. Ska, hard bop, mento, Afrobeat, highlife, dub, roots reggae, and ...

Various Artists: London Is The Place For Me 2

Read "London Is The Place For Me 2" reviewed by Chris May

Vibrant and beautiful almost beyond words, the fifty year old recordings being collected on Honest Jons' London Is The Place For Me series are giant and precious treasures of early black British music. Exquisite artistic achievements in their own right, they also throw light on the early development of post bop jazz in the UK.